NOAA forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, predict near-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which goes from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
In preparation for hurricane season, there are few steps your business should take to protect your data and technology from storm damage. Attention and effort now may prevent damage and help mitigate the effects of a hurricane-related disruption of your business in the future.
To ensure you have a solid plan in place to minimize the hurricane’s impact on your business, be sure to read this information.
3 steps to help you be prepared this season
STEP 1: PRIOR TO THE STORM
Ensure you have a current server data backup.
Have a current inventory of all computer equipment in your office/department.
Tip: Include serial numbers, this will be important for Insurance reasons. List computer, servers, and other equipment that are mission-critical.
Designate a central location for software licenses (proof of legal ownership), media, valuable manuals, and backup copies of critical documentation.
Create a list of key vendor information, such as company name, contact name, and phone number.
Ensure you or your IT company has a list of all user's computer passwords.
Tip: If you have a backup, perform a recovery test to assure it's a good backup.
STEP 2: WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU CLOSE THE OFFICE FOR THE STORM
Please shut down all PC's completely.
Tip: Remember to use the start button to shut down your PC, do not unplug your PC from the wall until you shut your PC down properly.
After shutting down properly, unplug PC’s from electrical outlets and unplug network cable in the back of PC, if possible.
Move the equipment away from windows, if possible.
Elevate your computers, printers, servers, and other network devices, as well as other electrical appliances off of the floor when possible.
Power down and unplug printers and copiers from electrical outlets.
Unscrew the coax cable from your Internet modem. Disconnecting the power is not enough.
Unplug battery back-ups (UPS). Be sure to press the power button to off, so the battery does not beep and run down.
Powering off the Server will be important, make sure all PC’s have been turned off (including remote users) before doing this step. During COVID this will be tricky, as you may have many home users. NOTE: Please consult with Kappa prior to performing this step.
Power down and unplug firewall equipment. NOTE: Please contact us, we need to walk you through this process.
Lastly, if possible, cover all equipment with plastic or garbage bags AFTER equipment has been unplugged.
IMPORTANT QUICK SELF HELP TIP- Take plenty of pictures of the back and front of your equipment before you remove any cables or plugs from monitors, PC's, servers, cable boxes, UPS, printers, phones, and other equipment. This will be very helpful when you start getting all your equipment back in place after the storm. Labeling the cords before you unplug them is also very helpful.
STEP 3: ESTABLISH A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
This is so often overlooked it’s surprising. Now that you have a plan in place, who knows about it? And who implements it if you aren’t available?
Always assume that you or your IT company won’t be immediately available during or right after a storm. If nothing else, you are just as likely to lose cell service and Internet as any other employee or vendor. In other words, there is no particular reason why you WOULD be more likely to be available than anyone else.
In your plan, assign responsibilities to key people (e.g., “Call Debra the day after the power goes out for everybody, call John if Debra is not available) and ensure that everybody has the contact information for key team members.
Every single employee should have a printed copy of this plan. If only the CEO has the plan and the CEO is unavailable, then nothing can happen. Ensure all employees are involved in the process!
Download the Kappa Hurricane Prep Document
2023 Hurricane Names
If you have any questions about protecting your data and technology during a storm, give Kappa a call 407-331-5921 or email Support@KappaServices.com
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION:
Ready Business Hurricane Toolkit - Link
FEMA Hurricane Information - Link
Complete list of recommended emergency supplies - Link
Pet Emergency Planning - Link
American Red Cross Helpline 1-800-733-2727
FEMA Helpline 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)